Wie needs rest, not criticism

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

As if hearing Barbaro might be on his last legs wasn't enough, this weekend we watched another elite young thoroughbred of an athlete almost pass out at the John Deere Classic live on TV. My nerves are raw.

Critics continue to complain that 16-year-old golf phenom Michelle Wie should stop trying to play with the boys. I disagree -- it's the year 2006 and she should be able to do whatever she wants as long as she can compete.

What I have issue with is the fact that the adults in her world are so busy basking in the spotlight they can't seem to see the toll this pace is taking on the youngster.

I don't even know her and I want to say, "honey, you need a break." Where are her parents?

Obviously, young Miss Wie is anything but your typical teen girl, as most dream of meeting Hollywood idols or wearing designer shoes, not winning the Masters or British Open.

While I understand those calling her out on the fact that she is striving to win on the PGA tour before winning a single LPGA event, we all must remember this teenager made her dreams known as a 15-year-old in Hawaii.

Not sure what your childhood dream was, but it's a safe bet it might have been a pretty tall order. Case in point, when I was 15 I wanted to be Vancouver Canucks' broadcast legend, Jim Robson.

The difference between Michelle Wie and I (handicap aside) is that my declaration of professional goal wasn't splashed across sports pages around the globe. Certainly my parents didn't push, push, push me towards it -- rather, they sent me to cooking school.

There are those who say that she is making a fool of herself by playing men's tournaments and missing cut after cut, that she can't handle the physical rigours of the tour. What those curmudgeons are missing is how she is competing in the middle of the pack with men who make up some of the best golfers on the planet. I feel she is a teenager who can't take the demands of the constant spotlight.

This girl is good, a thoroughbred if you will, and the great news this Tuesday is that both Michelle Wie and Barbaro are doing much better after some serious rest and re-hydration.

Jody Vance is a longtime television sportscaster and personality living in Toronto. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


Videos

Photos